7 Tips for Better Wine Storage Because Wine Is Fickle
I have heard the age-old adage: “wine gets better with age” and I have stored bottles of wine only to open them later and find out they did not get better with age. As it turns out, wine is fickler than that. I have found that wine gets better with age only when properly stored. So, if you want to avoid spoiling your wine read on to see the 7 tips for better wine storage I’ve picked up along the way.
1.) Store Wine Not Too Hot
I have read that wine keeps best at temperatures between 45-65 degrees. Temperatures above 65 degrees causes chemical reactions to begin to take place in your bottle of wine. Once this chemical reaction begins your wine profile flavors will change. At 80 degrees your wine begins to cook itself within its bottle. Referring to my middle school science class. Once a liquid is boiled it will expand into a gas. Given that wine is sealed in a glass bottle this can cause the cork to rupture or expand and contract as it cools. This process will lead to oxidation and premature aging meaning your wine will taste more like jam or vinegar. You can even bake down your alcohol content level. All things I personally would like to avoid.
2.) Store Wine Not Too Cold
Conversely, temperatures below 45 degrees can lead the wine to expand as it freezes. Unlike other spirited drinks, wine is mostly made of water. So, like freezing water to make ice cubes, the wine will expand inside of its container space. This can lead to a cork or cap rupture which can lead to the wine oxidizing after you pull the bottle from the freezer to thaw. Moreover, your wine bottle can burst leaving you with a glassy dangerous disaster. Remember, frozen wine is not the same as a Frose.
3.) Store Wine in Dark Places
As tempting as it may be to put your wine bottles on display you should store your wine collection in a darker area. Light and UV exposure can cause your wine temperature to rise into wine altering levels. Going back to the “Store Wine Not Too Hot” section, wine should be kept cool to avoid cooking. Additionally, light and UV exposure can damage your wine labels. So, keep your wine in a walled display, a closet, or a cabinet if you don’t have access to a fancy wine fridge or wine cellar.
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4.) Store Wine Sideways
This is where I have historically gone wrong with my wine storage. Wine should be stored sideways. Though this is more important for wine bottles with corks. Traditionally, corks are made up of tree bark and other porous material. Laying a bottle sideways allows the cork to maintain contact with the wine in the bottle. Just like a tree absorbs a fractional amount of rain moisture the cork will absorb moisture from the wine. This will keep the cork expanded enough to contain the wine inside of the bottle.
5.) Store Wine in a Humid Controlled Environment
Humidity is key to keeping a cork intact. It is said that wine should be kept at about 70% humidity to keep the cork moist. As a result, anything less will cause the wine cork to crack and oxidize the wine inside. Anything more can promote mold growth.
6.) Store Wine in a Wine Fridge or Cellar
Wine can become a big investment when you start to grow your collection. I should mention that the bottles of wine that are intended for aging are usually $30 and over. Once you notice that your collection is growing you should seriously consider purchasing a wine fridge or cellar setup. The ideal temperature for a standard refrigerator is 40 degrees. Referring to the “Store Wine Not Too Cold” section, this temperature is too cold for adequate wine storage. To protect your investment, you should invest in the proper storage setup.
7.) Store Wine in Your Belly!
The final tip for better wine storage is the most enjoyable of all. Most of the wine crafted these days reaches the perfect drinking age within a few years of its creation. Unless you are intentionally growing your expensive collection in a controlled location it is best to just drink it because at the end of the day wine is made for drinking.
Blog & Graphic Poster by: Kerriann Jenkins